Deputies Find Explosives at Sex Offender's Home

By: Erica Rakow Email
By: Erica Rakow Email

A Panama City Beach man is behind bars tonight after deputies found several highly explosive items in his home.

During a residence check of registered sex offender, John Eugene Barta's home on Friday night, probation officers found potentially explosive materials.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office bomb squad and special investigations officers responded and found 8 to 10 pounds of high explosives and 30 to 50 detonators.

Deputies evacuated all of the neighbors and closed off the street from about 6 until 12 a.m. Friday night.

“This was not fertilizer. This was not simple chemicals or components that you can buy in a hardware store, any regular store you have to have a special license, a federal license to purchase this type of materials. They must be stored in a registered facility, especially constructed to federal guidelines, strict federal guidelines and inspected periodically by ATF so no, he wasn't storing them properly and at this time the question remains how he even came to own these components," said Bay County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson, Ruth Corley.

To put into perspective, Corley says if an explosion had occurred, it would have removed the entire back of the house where the materials were improperly stored and probably would have exploded into the neighbors yards.

The bomb squad disposed of the materials. Barta currently faces drug charges, violation of probation and charges for the explosives will be added.

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